Do you have thinking ruts? Ways of thinking that you just can’t seem to get out of.
It was a track that had been worn into the earth by hundreds of sheep plodding over the same piece of clay time and time again.
As I child being raised on a sheep farm, I would often notice these worn narrow paths through a paddock, and usually around the side of a hill.
The sheep would walk this same little narrow path that countless others had followed. It was the easiest way to get from A to B. Why go up a hill when around the hill was so much easier.
So a track was made, a rut was formed, and thousands of sheep would use it time and time again. Over the years the rut grew deeper and deeper until it became the only way to get from A to B.
Ever met anyone that has ruts in their thinking?
They repeatedly think and behave in the same ways as they have always done.
Perhaps it is you? Actually, it is you.
We all do it.
Over the years we form ways of looking at life, and systems of thinking that guide us, good and bad. They often entrap us and take us to places that we actually don’t want to go to.
We wind up doing the same thing again and again and of course getting the same result. If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.
How did Jesus help those with deep thinking and behaving ruts?
- He loved them without exception. He didn’t reject them just because they weren’t doing it right. He continued to meet and eat with the toughest of religious opponents while they threw him barbed questions.
- He listened to them. Their truth was their truth until they were willing to let it go. Patient love opens the door for people to become real.
- He told them stories that made them think about their stories. Stories that sow seeds in the thinking that perhaps I have got it wrong. Stories that connected in a very emotional way to their own rut forming experiences, yet had a twist to the story that made them question the rut they were trapped in. Take as an example the story of the loving father or the dehumanised man.
- He saw beyond the rut they were in at this moment. Everyone can change, no one is impossibly stuck in a rut. There is hope. Jesus knew this and could see in everyone that came to him a potential of incredibleness.
- He welcomed their brokenness and repentance as an opportunity for change. The tipping point is when we come to a place of absolute need. There is nothing more I can do; I need Jesus and his help to get me out of this rut.
What ruts do you have?
Who can you show Jesus love to this week, that has deep ruts in their thinking?
May Jesus’ truth set you free as you open your heart and expose the ruts in your thinking to him.
Image by Dan Valentine Creative Commons Flickr